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MinnPost editor hijacks BrauBlog to make a plea for micro-sponsors

I’m Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor of MinnPost.com, and I have a proposition for you: Become a micro-sponsor of BrauBlog.

Have you noticed that BrauBlog has never been interrupted by a message asking you for donations?

Until today.

I’m Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor of MinnPost.com, and I have a proposition for you: Become a micro-sponsor of BrauBlog.

And if you do it now — or in the next 90 days — your micro-sponsorship will trigger a matching donation.

Here’s why: 

MinnPost is a national leader in building a new economic model for high-quality local journalism on the Internet. This is not easy to do. Our traffic is growing dramatically — we’ve tripled our page views in one year — but revenues from sponsors, advertisers, and our nearly 1,300 members currently cover only about 60% of our very lean spending.

One of the ideas floating around for financing journalism is “community-funding” — getting lots of people to donate small amounts to support a writer, a beat, or a specific story project they are interested in.

So we’ve decided to try this concept out with BrauBlog, since it’s our most popular feature on MinnPost, other than the home page itself. This is an experiment. If it works, we’ll brag about it all over the country, and pay some of our bills, too.

Here’s how:

Want to be a LowBrau?  It will cost you only $10. Just click on the LowBrau button (located in the upper right side of this page), and pay online.

Willing to step up and be a HighBrau? Click on that button, and pay $25.

If you are already a member of MinnPost, you are welcome — encouraged — to do this too.

LowBraus and HighBraus will get an automated thank-you, and a warm feeling that you’re doing something about the future of journalism besides just wringing your hands or shaking your head.

You’ll also trigger a matching gift to MinnPost from the Harnisch Foundation in New York, up to a total of $10,000. Ruth Ann Harnisch explains why a person with no Minnesota connections is excited about this experiment.

What you will NOT get is public recognition. LowBraus and HighBraus will remain anonymous, because David Brauer does not want to know which individuals are supporting him. Something about Caesar’s wife. And maybe you don’t want your employer to know you’re supporting him. If you want to brag to your friends that you’re a LowBrau or a HighBrau, feel free. You can even brag to me. But please don’t tell Brauer. (And don’t try to sneak through a comment identifying yourself as a Brau donor.)

By the way, I should add that Brauer finds the terms HighBrau and LowBrau embarrassing, but as I used to tell my kids until they fled the nest, “It’s my job to embarrass you. How am I doing?”

In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we will report in this space how many LowBraus and HighBraus have signed up and how much money we’ve raised. That could either be exhilarating or embarrassing. No guts, no glory.